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Spec II
Full-Fairing
and install info

Courtesy of Rick Sonderfan

nickname:  Appendix

Introduction

What I Got and How I Got It

The Process

My Conclusions

Considerations for the Future

Introduction

    This page is a description of my experience with installing a Spec II full sport fairing on my 2000 Suzuki GS500E.   I am a new rider, (as of August 2000), over in the great state of New Jersey, (USA).  I love my new GS500, but I desired both the wind protection that fairings provide and the sporty look.  I looked around at 1/4 fairings as well as full fairings, and decided to go with spec II due to the conclusions that I drew.  I apologize for the poor quality pictures, I should have had a better camera.  

 

What I Got and How I Got It

    Spec II offers the unpainted full sport fairing with mounting kit for $499 (all money here is in US dollars), or exact color-matched painted fairing with kit for $750.  I went with the painted fairing because I am not talented enough to paint if myself, and I was getting quotes from local body shops for around $800-- I'll go with the $250 paint job.  $750 sounds expensive, (and I guess to some extent it is), but with that you get the mounting kit (keep in mind that the kit is very significant since the GS500 was not designed to have a full fairing), all hardware, the new H4 headlight, the full fiber-glass fairing (mine came in two pieces, the upper included the sides, and the lower was more-or-less just the air dam which connected the sides), trim for the fairing, the windshield, directions, and a really nice color-matched paint job on the fairing.  Spec II shipped the large package to me, (after the paint job was completed), via UPS ground from California for about $38, and it took one week to arrive.  UPS thoroughly abused the package, but there was no damage done to the fairing.

 

The Process

    The entire process took me about 6 hours -- from review of the instructions, to implementation, to clean up, (and I am not that mechanically inclined).  The instructions provided by Spec II were pretty good.  They were for a slightly different fairing, one with an upper cowling, two separate sides, and the lower -- whereas mine was only two pieces: the upper (with sides) and the lower piece.  But all around, the process was not too difficult.  The sum-up of the steps follows:

  1. Remove mirrors, headlight, blinkers and headlight bracket.

  2. Installing the new headlight and blinker mounting bracket, and attaching new headlight to that.

  3. Install the main lower bracket on the frame of the bike.  This involves removing the front engine bolt, placing the bracket, and re-installing the bolt.

  4. Attach the upper fairing and blinkers.

  5. Attach lower fairing.

  6. Attach windshield to upper fairing.

  7. Re-attach mirrors, adjust fairing for handlebar clearance, adjust headlight to point in correct direction (not up at trees, not too low, etc.).

  8. Place some sort of cover (I used black duct-tape) over top and sides of headlight from inside of fairing to reduce glare while riding.

  9. Ride in style!

Here she is with no headlight.  Pay attention to remember what wires you unplug.  To get the back of the headlight assembly off only the actual headlight wire, ignition and blinkers must be disconnected.  The ignition had one wire, and the blinkers had two wires each.  Any further questions, just consult the service manual for the GS500 (you do have one, right?!).
Install the bracket for the headlight assembly, blinkers, and upper fairing, then slap the headlight on and this is what you get.
Here is the bike with only the upper part of the fairing installed.  In this picture, at the bottom of the upper fairing along the frame of the bike is where the front engine bolt is located.

The real fun was attempting to get the lower fairing (seen in picture under bike) to fit flush with the upper, all while satisfying the design of the brackets attached to the frame.  Some bending of the brackets was required, and I am not sure that even now my fairing is 100% symmetrical distance from the engine on both sides, but you can hardly tell.

Here is the view from the cockpit, (sorry about the glare).  The main problem I had with clearance was the brake fluid on the right handle bar was brushing up against the fairing when turned all the way.

Note the ugly fiberglass look on the inside.  I'm going to have to do something about that...

Again-- black bike, poor lighting, and poor camera produces pictures like this.

Lookin' good!

 

My Conclusions

    I love it.  This fairing does exactly what I want it to do.  It blocks wind, and looks good.  The wind blocking is not as great as a larger windshield would provide ,but when going fast down the highway, ducking behind it is a blessing!  It also reduces wind in the crotch region and the lower legs.  Would I recommend this fairing to you?-- that depends.  It really depends on what you are looking for.  I first set out for something along the lines of the Targa 1/4 fairing and air dam, and noticed that for a couple extra hundred dollars I could have a full.  If all you are looking for is the basic functionality of a fairing and would like the full fairing look, this fairing is for you.  Also, if price is a major factor, go for the Spec II.  If you want a sportier look than the Spec II, go for the AirTech.  The AirTech Titan Kit offers a more race-oriented look, but it costs extra and they won't paint if for you.  Another draw back on the Spec II (if your into the professional look), is that the fairing sides fall far from the engine, leaving a view into the ugly fiber-glass underside.  If you require a more precision fit, you should attempt to import a TPC fairing, which seems to come close to falling flush with the bike frame.  In my opinion, the TPC fairing looks and seems to fit the best with the GS500.  But if your going to spend that much, why not sell the GS500 and get a full-faired sport bike?

 

Considerations for the Future

   Where do I go from here?  First off, I am going to remove the fairing and spray paint the inside a flat black.  Currently it is unattractive on the inside, and I think a quick paint job could change that.  I could possibly get a better method of masking the glare from the headlight on the inside of the fairing, (a better method than duct-tape).  I am soon going to get a small water-proof bag (like a "fanny" pack), and strap it around the upper headlight/blinker bracket, providing me with extra storage above the headlight.  I would like to attempt to get rid of my current stock mirrors and attach smaller aftermarket ones to the fairing itself, like on "real" fairings.  Finally, I am going to look into what is involved in getting graphics onto the fairing so I can spruce up the appearance.  And how about I take some better quality pictures? Good luck and happy riding!

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Last modified: March 15, 2006